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EPA awards over $1.6 million to protect, restore Wisconsin’s coastal wetlands

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Allison Lippert (

CHICAGO (May 21, 2018) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant of $1,679,104 to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) to increase its efforts to protect and restore Wisconsin’s Great Lakes coastal wetlands. Work will focus on the shoreline of Lake Michigan.

“This funding will enable our state partners in Wisconsin to safeguard and restore key habitats along Lake Michigan’s shoreline,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “These grants will fund projects to protect fish and wildlife and ensure that the Great Lakes remain a recreational destination and economic driver for years to come.”

“These grants are crucial to protecting our Lake Michigan shoreline,” said Regional Administrator Secretary Cathy Stepp. “Projects funded by today’s grant will enhance Wisconsin’s coastal wetlands so that they may continue to be enjoyed by communities and visitors for fishing, hunting and recreation.”

“The Great Lakes and the beauty that surrounds them are a part of our state’s heritage and economic strength,” said Governor Scott Walker. “As a result of this funding, our state will be able to increase protection and restoration efforts for critical habitat that benefit fish and wildlife communities and provide valuable public recreational opportunities. These efforts will help maintain our lakes and ensure they are around for future generations to value and appreciate as we do.”

EPA funding will enable WDNR to administer six different projects that will focus on long-term protection and restoration of coastal wetlands and increasing connectivity in streams. Work will restore hydrological conditions, re-establish native vegetation and protect existing high-quality habitat sites. These projects are expected to protect, restore or enhance 1,223 acres of coast wetland habitat and 463 acres of other habitats in the Great Lakes basin. Additionally, six miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and riparian corridors will be restored and1.5 miles of Great Lakes tributaries will be reopened.

Since 2010, EPA has provided states with Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) funds totaling more than $300 million. GLRI resources are used to strategically target the biggest threats to the Great Lakes ecosystem.

To learn more about coastal wetlands, visit